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Why is this the beginning route from Porto?!?

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
Simple question: why does the first day’s route on the Central Way from Porto follow a busy thoroughfare versus a less-busy route from village to village, passing by churches and town squares? The current way-marked route skirts a number of villages where you can see the church towers and hear the bells, preventing the modern pilgrim access to the shade, water, and spiritual visits found on the CF routing.

Given that this is a fairly modern iteration of the Way (the “real” one ran towards Braga), I am really curious as to how this route was selected. Anyone?
 
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Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Simple question: why does the first day’s route on the Central Way from Porto follow a busy thoroughfare versus a less-busy route from village to village, passing by churches and town squares? The current way-marked route skirts a number of villages where you can see the church towers and hear the bells, preventing the modern pilgrim access to the shade, water, and spiritual visits found on the CF routing.

Given that this is a fairly modern iteration of the Way (the “real” one ran towards Braga), I am really curious as to how this route was selected. Anyone?
Good question…. I felt a bit like that on the day *into* Porto as well. A string of towns along a highway, but most inaccessible, on the other side of a noise-barrier. IIRC that was the walk from São Jão do Madeira and while I am very accepting of industrial/ugly walks, that one seemed to be really long….
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
Exactly! I don’t mind the industrial or traffic or cobblestones IF there is a purpose to the route. This one seemed purposefully non-pilgrim.
 

Corned Beef

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
VDLP 9/2022
The start point is the Cathedral on the river but if you walk down the hill to Sao Bento Rail Station, you can not only enjoy the tiled walls but you can take a train to Sao Romano a few miles out and close to the Central route at Portela.
 

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Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
St. James ways usually follow (more or less) historical paths.
That’s my point exactly! The historical path actually went to Braga but even if a minor path went towards Vilrão, it would have gone village to village and church to church. The way-marked “Central Way” skirts those specific landmarks, avoiding churches and village centers by a km or so. The current path is not only DEFINITELY not the historic one, but it’s a terrible layout for pilgrims.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
I never understood why pilgrims rave about the Central route from Porto. The first few days I found dangerous along busy roads with many cars parked on the sidewalk. Drivers didn't seemed to pay much regard to pilgrims although there were few when I walked it in March. It wasn't until about day 4 that it got IMHO better.

The route out of Porto following the Coastal route or Litoral was safer.
 

PlutseligPilegrim

Rota Vicentina, fisherman’s trail, is sweet...
Past OR future Camino
Francigena Sud
Shikoku 88
St Olav Waterways
One perspective on reflection is to look at pilgrims chosen path as the main roads of passage - also in continuous traditions some 800 plus years back

It was a paradigm shift for me to look at overview European route maps a millennium ago and the two lane / high speed road net of today - complexity was very similar and often going in parallel - history repeats itself somehow

On my Portuguese pilgrimage I started in Faro - one entry port from the Middle East and the holy land. Equally on “via del a plata” from Cadiz and not Sevilla I followed mostly history but sometimes it was totally changed- suburbia today was countryside of yesterday 🤔

Ultreia 🙏🏼!

That’s my point exactly! The historical path actually went to Braga but even if a minor path went towards Vilrão, it would have gone village to village and church to church. The way-marked “Central Way” skirts those specific landmarks, avoiding churches and village centers by a km or so. The current path is not only DEFINITELY not the historic one, but it’s a terrible layout for pilgrims.
 
Last edited:

PlutseligPilegrim

Rota Vicentina, fisherman’s trail, is sweet...
Past OR future Camino
Francigena Sud
Shikoku 88
St Olav Waterways
One perspective on reflection is to look at pilgrims chosen path as the main roads of passage - also in continuous traditions some 800 plus years back

It was a paradigm shift for me to look at overview European route maps a millennium ago and the two lane / high speed road net of today - complexity was very similar and often going in parallel - history repeats itself somehow

On my Portuguese pilgrimage I started in Faro - one entry port from the Middle East and the holy land. Equally on “via del a plata” from Cadiz and not Sevilla

Ultreia 🙏🏼!

That’s my point exactly! The historical path actually went to Braga but even if a minor path went towards Vilrão, it would have gone village to village and church to church. The way-marked “Central Way” skirts those specific landmarks, avoiding churches and village centers by a km or so. The current path is not only DEFINITELY not the historic one, but it’s a terrible layout for pilgrims.
 
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Marcus-UK

Old Git
Past OR future Camino
Camino Ingles 2016 Camino Portuguese 2017 Considering Invierno late (2020) In lieu of VdlP (2020)
Simple question: why does the first day’s route on the Central Way from Porto follow a busy thoroughfare versus a less-busy route from village to village, passing by churches and town squares? The current way-marked route skirts a number of villages where you can see the church towers and hear the bells, preventing the modern pilgrim access to the shade, water, and spiritual visits found on the CF routing.

Given that this is a fairly modern iteration of the Way (the “real” one ran towards Braga), I am really curious as to how this route was selected. Anyone?
I cannot answer your question. However many people follow the coastal route initially to avoid the industrial start of this Camino. You can do this a number of ways. Either taking the Metro to Matosinhos and picking up the coastal route or grom the catherdral following the river to the coast and then heading North to Matosinhos. People then elect to head inland at Vilar do Conde or continue slightly further and take the Bus to pick up the Central way.
 
Past OR future Camino
2012
I know that the Pilgrim's Office disagrees with me but I've always taken the view that I can choose my route to Santiago. Them little yellow arrows are helpful sometimes and have sometimes been painted by Lucifer in spite. If I don't like where they're pointing me I'll go another way (Way). Modern mapping apps make for easy decisions but in the old days a compass or at least a wrist watch so I knew what time of day it was ergo which direction I should be walking got me to most places I wanted to be.

I've not walked from Porto yet, but when I do I'll try and walk those Villages and Squares. My way, not the High-way
 

jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Simple question: why does the first day’s route on the Central Way from Porto follow a busy thoroughfare versus a less-busy route from village to village, passing by churches and town squares?

Good question. But sorry, have no idea of the answer.

I walked out of Porto 3 years ago on the central route, just because I had never done it before. (I have always walked to Matosinhos as I LOVE that particular walk out of Porto.)

It wasn’t too bad. Being a Sunday there wasn’t too much traffic and noise.

However, I did take the left fork after about 7 kms onto the “Caminho de Costa” to get back to the coast.

Nearing the airport I passed SIX cafes between 1.30 and 2.30 that were ALL closed.

I finally got a (lukewarm) beer at the Hotel Aeroporto.

But, hey, I eventually ended up at Orbitur Angeiras with my own bungalow (pilgrim discount) for 14 euros.

A rather weird day on the camino.
 

jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
The fork on the central route, about 7 kms out of Porto, that takes you to the coast:

1324.jpg
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
So the current paths were signposted within the past 40 years and while folks claim they follow ancient routes, well believe what you’d like. As such, my original question was simply: why did the committee that laid out this modern route choose a path away from village centers and churches?!??!
 
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